Brice Johnson is a power forward from the University of North Carolina. Johnson is 6’10 and has a wingspan of 6’11. For the year, he averaged, 30.4 minutes per game, 17.0 points per game, 10.4 rebounds per game, 1.5 assists per game, 1.1 steals per game, 1.5 blocks per game, while shooting 61.4% from the field.
- Great athleticism
- Size, length, and strength of NBA big
- High basketball IQ
- Good character
- Good all-round player
- Extremely efficient offensive player
- Skilled finisher
- Great in transition
- Good short-range jumper
- Shooting mechanics are good
- Excellent rebounder
- Tough defender
- Shot blocking potential
- Leaping abilities
- Limited offensive potential
- Passing skills
- Court vision
- Needs to be more consistent on rebounding fundamentals
- Can get into foul trouble quickly
- Defensive intensity
- Needs to continue adding strength
Brice Johnson is one of those players you are drafting for what he can offer you now, as there looks to be very little more to gain from him. This is not always a bad thing, as Johnson is a terrific all around player, who can provide valuable minutes off the bench as a rookie.
On the offensive side of the ball, Johnson prefers to play within five feet of the basket. Johnson is very effective near the basket where he gets the majority of his points of putbacks and alley oops. Johnson has drastically improved as a free throw shooter, so fouling him at the next level will consequential. Johnson does have a smooth jumper, which is deadly from within 8 feet of the basket. He can stretch out to 15 feet, but prefers to stay near the hoop. With so many teams looking to stretch the floor in the modern league, Johnson’s inability to have confidence from mid-range to the three point line will cause a few teams to pass on him. Johnson does not have the greatest court vision, and thus struggles as a passer. If he can improve on this, Johnson will have an easier time becoming part of the offense at the next level.
Defensively, Johnson is a sound defender. His length, explosiveness, and quickness give him an advantage over many over his opponents, and allow for him to look dominant. Johnson continues to become a better shot blocker, as he improves his defensive awareness. The biggest knock on his shot blocking ability his is tendency to bite on fakes, and leads to foul trouble. When it comes to on-ball defense, Johnson struggles against bigger, stronger players, who tend to push him around and get him in foul trouble. On the perimeter, Johnson has trouble closing out, as well as having slower lateral speed allowing quicker players to drive past him. As the game progresses, Johnson can lose his defensive intensity, and this could be attributed to him doing everything on the court, and him just tiring out, or this is a bigger issue than highlighted. When it comes to rebounding, Johnson is dominant on the glass on both ends of the court. He can become over reliant on his athleticism and length, and forget his fundamentals, like boxing out, so just coaching adjustments need to be made, so he is always performing at peak levels.
As an overall, Johnson will be a terrific all around role player at the next level. Any growth for Johnson will come if he decides to practicing a mid-range game, one that he has confidence in. At the next level, Johnson will likely only be seeing around 20 minutes per game, so intensity and effort should not be a factor for him like his final season at North Carolina. When looking at draft range for Johnson, anywhere from 10-30 is viable. It was reported he had an excellent workout with the Warriors on 6/6/2016, and with them likely needing to replace role players this offseason, Johnson would be a cheap addition, who can step in right away. Expect many other playoff caliber teams to view him as the same type of player to add to their rotation.
Pro Comparison: Taj Gibson
This comparison is about the only one you will see for Brice Johnson as Taj Gibson and himself share almost every attribute. The best thing for teams looking to potentially trade for the savvy veteran, Johnson is much younger, cheaper, and about equal player at this time.
On offense, neither player is the focal point, but serve as the team’s cleanup man. If you know any Chicago Bulls fans, nothing gets them more excited than a Taj Gibson dunk. Around the rim, both players are two of the most efficient scorers you will see in the league. Neither player sets up for a jumper, but they are capable of stretching out for a jumper every once in a while to keep the defense honest. Gibson and Johnson both are mediocre passers, capable of making the pass, but lacking the vision to set up teammates before hand.
For defensive similarities, Gibson and Johnson are both good all-around defenders with a few minor flaws. When it comes to on-ball defense, they are equal players. Gibson has quite a bit of muscle on Johnson, so he does not get pushed around as much in the paint, but Johnson has room to add another 15-20 pounds to his frame without sacrificing his speed and athletic abilities, so this could shore up like Gibson. On the perimeter, this is not a strong suit for either player. Both can get blown by fairly easily, and try to use their wingspans to compensate for it. When it comes to shot blocking, Gibson is more polished, but Johnson has superior leaping ability, and with continue work could be a much better rim protector in his prime. Both players use fundamentals and athletic abilities to be excellent rebounders, and I expect this to continue for Johnson at the next level.
Taj Gibson seems to have been on the trade block for the last few seasons, and coming into the last year of his deal, these talks will intensify. For the teams who do not get the original package, or do not want to give up assets, they can go for Johnson who will have a similar career. Expect a long, productive career from Johnson, who will solidify any bench he will be coming off of.
By: Mac Crowe, @Mac_Truck17